Honesty is one of those things that often trips people up when they are under pressure. Lies are often an easy escape out of discomfort. We all would like to think that we are 100% honest all of the time, however, every so often, we may find ourselves in a situation that pushes the integrity and honesty buttons. We would also like to think that in those moments, we make the right decision and choose honesty every time. Reality is, sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t.
Honesty has always been a huge aspect of my life. I think it’s safe to say that most people that know me can confidently believe that if there’s anything you will get from me, it’s the truth. I say that in confidence because it is true. I’m not afraid of the truth and I firmly believe that telling the truth will set you free. I have spent the past decade of my life building connections and a reputation around honesty and integrity. Does that mean I don’t mess up sometimes? No, but I sure try to always tell the truth even if it hurts. Yes, son, I really DO have eyes on the back of my head (sorta…).
This brings us to this past week. I was in one of those moments where I had to make a difficult decision with my business. I either tell the truth or risk what could be one of the greatest opportunities that has ever come my way in terms of my business and my career. For a moment, I considered lying. In full honesty, I almost budged. BUT, I have prayed in the past for the opportunity to always tell the truth and to always be known as a business owner founded upon integrity and strong values. I often pray for God to show me favor in this area and also to always provide a way out if I get myself in a mess (no matter what that mess may be). God honored me even when I was slightly considering not honoring Him.
My path to starting this business has been founded upon a lengthy and bumpy journey, but at the same time, the process to physically start the company and it flourishing has been amazingly smooth. The least I can do is be honest. Now, don’t get me wrong, the person who asked me to lie did so with no harm intended. The person was truly trying to make things easier for me and honestly did not mean any harm at all whatsoever. I am at full peace with this individual and still hold high respect and gratitude toward them. I just can’t lie. I am not able to destroy in one moment what I have worked so hard for the past decade.
I contacted someone who I knew had authority in the situation and explained how uncomfortable I was feeling about being asked to lie. To my surprise, she was shocked! She had no idea that I had been asked to lie about this specifically and immediately helped me to remedy the situation. After a few phones calls, I was given the okay to tell the truth in the moment that it was needed. I immediately felt a release of pressure and knew that God had my back and He even placed some mighty leaders in my path to have my back as well. I had peace.
You see, peace cannot enter you in the midst of a lie. In a world of chaos and a world of deceitful business practices, I choose to stand out and be different. The most successful business owners I know have founded their companies upon truth and honesty. There is this sort of dogma in America that big business is all bad and that businesses are profit leaches, when in reality, there are some amazing companies out there that are founded by amazing entrepreneurs who truly have a heart for making our country great and our people great.
Our Constitution mentions freedom and the pursuit of happiness. That statement, as many do not consider, was generated on the idea of freedom with occupation in mind as well as other freedoms. Our founding fathers wanted our people to be free from governmental oppression with owning their own businesses. They wanted freedom from the “big man” in government telling them what to do and when to do it with their companies. They wanted freedom to exercise their talents and abilities to provide for their families. They wanted freedom to become more specialized in their trade. I want these same freedoms, too. That freedom cannot be found in the midst of a lie.
When the moment of truth arrived (no pun intended haha), I spoke the truth. I felt free. I also knew that this was going to upset some people and could possibly cost me one of the greatest opportunities that has been offered to my business. This moment could have possibly changed the trajectory of my entire business and even my entire life. I know, though, that my business and my personal success lie in the hands of the One that created it! I rest in the assurance that God’s provision far outweighs my abilities to grow this business by myself.
I did what I needed to do and what I felt was right. Before deciding on the truth, I was consumed with shame. Those of you that know me, know I do not do well under the pressure of shame. If there is one emotion that I feel heavily, that is shame when it enters my heart and I do what it takes to avoid it. I’m not “good” to JUST be good…I’m good as to avoid shame (true talk). This is a big part of why I try my best to do what I feel is the right thing to do…I naturally (as all humans do) try to avoid shame and regret. So, I chose to blurt out the truth in just the right moment. I have already seen fruit from that decision, from that seed of truth. Reality is, I am who I am and that’s what I have to offer. I have so much more to offer with my business than any false projections could offer, but that doesn’t mean the decision was easy. I can, however, sleep at night knowing that no matter what happens tomorrow, I will be at peace with my decision and honestly, isn’t that what it is all about?!
I want to encourage any business owners out there to just be YOU! Be real. People far more appreciate honesty than they do false fame. My hope in sharing this event with you is that you choose to say yes to the truth and no to the lies in your life. Are they business related? Emotionally related? Physically related? Educationally related? Whatever those lies are, give them the boot and say yes to the peace that every human needs in order to stay happy.
I also want to encourage any of you to go back and tell the truth if you have lied and messed up. I know it sounds cliché, and that is totally fine. It’s okay to get a little cheesy sometimes. I also know it’s easier said than done. But above all of that, I know that telling the truth is never too late and it also is more freeing than the gain from the lie will ever be.
This situation is not the typical “business blog” material, but I firmly believe and stand behind the idea that our businesses are a reflection of who we are as leaders. This is the sort of stuff we need to consider when running our businesses. These little (or big) decisions are a reflection of our integrity. I want my future employees to talk about me behind my back in a good way and say that I am a woman of integrity and honesty, no matter the cost. I want people to see that following the path of righteousness far outweighs anything another human can offer me. I want my children to see that the way to grow and nourish a business is to water and feed it with honesty and faithfulness.
Friends, let the truth shine light to the areas of weakness in your life. Let the truth reign in your decision making. Let the truth bring forth the fruits of your labor. Let the truth be what you are known for! You are worth it!
Written By: Anastasia Roberts
The Nourishing Business Solutions blog exists to help business owners find the value in marketing and to offer practical tips and advice on how to make little changes go a long way when growing your business. The day to day habits you build will either help your company grow or help it wither away.